The FINANCIAL — Novartis announced on August 20 that the European Commission has approved Odomzo (sonidegib, formerly LDE225) 200 mg capsules for the treatment of adult patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma (laBCC) who are not amenable to curative surgery or radiation therapy.
“I have seen first-hand the devastating impact advanced basal cell carcinoma can have on those living with the disease. As the lesions are usually highly visible and located predominantly on the face, they can impact patients both physically and emotionally,” said Reinhard Dummer, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Dermatology at the University of Zurich. “The approval of Odomzo brings new hope in the form of a non-invasive option to help treat this disfiguring and potentially life-threatening disease.”
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) consists of abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) and accounts for more than 80% of non-melanoma skin cancers. Advanced BCC is thought to represent roughly 1-10% of all cases of BCC. Although BCC rarely becomes advanced, there have been few treatment options at this stage of the disease. Worldwide incidence of BCC is rising by 10% each year due to factors such as an aging population and increased ultraviolet exposure, according to Novartis.
The EU approval of Odomzo was based on data from the Phase II randomized, double-blind, multi-center BOLT (Basal cell carcinoma Outcomes in LDE225 Trial) study in patients with laBCC not amenable to local therapy or metastatic basal cell carcinoma (mBCC). In patients with laBCC treated with Odomzo 200 mg, the objective response rate (ORR) was 56% per central review and 71% per investigator review. The median duration of response per central review has not been reached. The median progression-free survival was 22 months per central review and 19 months per investigator review. The most frequent grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions occurring in at least 2% of patients treated with Odomzo 200 mg were fatigue, decreased weight and muscle spasms.
“We are pleased to have a new treatment option for European patients living with advanced basal cell carcinoma,” said Bruno Strigini, President, Novartis Oncology. “This milestone follows the recent approval of Odomzo in the US and is the latest example of our commitment to precision oncology and developing targeted treatments to address unmet needs.”
The EU approval follows a positive opinion adopted by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) in June 2015 and applies to all 28 EU member states, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Outside the EU, Odomzo is approved in the United States, Australia and Switzerland. Additional regulatory submissions are being reviewed by health authorities worldwide.